The Global Drylands Center honors Professor Paul Hirt’s service as a member of the GDC Executive Board since its inception in 2017. Following 33 years of his academic career, with 16 of those years at Arizona State University, Professor Hirt will be retiring at the end of the Spring 2020 semester.
Paul Hirt is a historian specializing in the American West, environmental history, environmental policy and sustainability studies. Hirt's publications include a monograph on the history of electric power in the U.S. Northwest and British Columbia, titled "The Wired Northwest" (Univ Press of Kansas, 2012). He also published a history of national forest management since WWII ("A Conspiracy of Optimism," 1994), and edited two collections of essays on Northwest history ("Terra Pacifica," 1998 and "Northwest Lands, Northwest Peoples," 1999). Hirt has also authored more than two dozen articles and book chapters on environmental and western history and policy. His current research projects include collaborative interdisciplinary research on energy transitions, water use and conservation, urban growth and sustainability in southern Arizona, and adaptive management in the Colorado River Basin.